NBA Game Summary - Seattle at LA Lakers
(Friday, November 3rd)
Final Score: LA Lakers 118, Seattle 112
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kobe Bryant, wearing his new number 24, made his season debut with 23 points and six assists, helping the Lakers remain unbeaten with a 118-112 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics at the Staples Center.
Lamar Odom scored 28 points as the Lakers started a season with three straight victories for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.
"It feels good to win at home," Odom said. "I'm just playing my game and finding my sweet spots. I was able to get to free-throw line 12 times. Everybody stayed involved in the game tonight."
Bryant, recovering from offseason knee surgery, missed the first two contests, a home win over Phoenix on Tuesday and a victory at Golden State Wednesday. He finished Friday's game 8-of-15 shooting and also had six assists, but turned the ball over six times.
Luke Walton scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lakers, who played the first of a home-and-home set. Seattle will host the Lakers Sunday. Ronny Turiaf added 13 points and seven boards.
Ray Allen scored 30 points for the SuperSonics, who lost their second straight to start the season. Rashard Lewis notched 28 rebounds and eight rebounds. Earl Watson added 13 points and seven assists.
With the score tied 107-107, Smush Parker scored a driving finger roll with 1:21 left to give the Lakers a two-point advantage. After Allen came up short on a jumper in the lane, Turiaf then converted a pair of free throws with 55.6 seconds left for a 111-107 LA lead.
The Sonics tried to alley-oop an inbound pass to Chris Wilcox, but Turiaf blocked the shot. Lewis tried to put it back, but Turiaf again blocked the shot to preserve the Lakers four-point advantage with 41.8 seconds to go.
After Bryant converted a free throw, Seattle point guard Luke Ridnour missed a jumper but Lewis followed it with a jam with 38.1 seconds left for a 112-109 deficit.
Odom hit a free throw with 35.9 seconds left, but Lewis nailed a three with 26.9 seconds remaining for a one-point Sonics deficit. Odom then converted a pair of free throws with 26.5 seconds left for a three-point game.
Allen hit the front of the rim from the top of the key to try to tie the score, and Odom hit another pair of free throws with 15.5 seconds left. Lewis lofted a final three-point attempt but came up short, as Turiaf hit a free throw with 6.3 seconds left to seal the win.
LA finished 37-of-48 from the free-throw line, while Seattle was 13-of-16.
"It's difficult to win when one team shoots 48 free throws and we shoot 16, that's very difficult to overcome," Seattle coach Bob Hill said.
The Lakers went on a 16-2 run midway through the first capped by an Andrew Bynum free throw with three minutes left, and led 38-26 heading into the second.
The Sonics got back in the game on a 14-0 run midway through the second capped by a Wilcox layup with 4:44 to go, and trailed 65-56 at halftime.
Trailing 77-69 midway through the third, Seattle closed the quarter on a 19-9 run sparked by a Danny Fortson layup with 7:03 remaining to lead 88-86 heading into the fourth.
The Lakers won two of three from Seattle last season, but the SuperSonics have won three of their last five over the Lakers as the road team.
11/04 01:56:46 ET